For the past two decades, Stan Lee’s Spider-Man has been a fan-favorite character. While fans got multiple versions of the character over the years, one thing has remained the same: the down-to-earth friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
One of the main reasons why the character is so popular is that the fans get to relate to the character. Peter Parker is a normal teenager, with normal problems. But what if we told you Marvel initially hated the idea of Spider-Man being a teenager? The man who is credited for the success of Marvel, Stan Lee, once explained that his publisher hated the idea of Spider-Man being a teenager back in the 1960s.
Marvel initially didn’t like the idea of Spider-Man
In 2015, Stan Lee appeared for an interview with BBC Radio 4 in order to promote his memoir, Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir. During the interview, Lee explained that his publisher didn’t like Spider-Man,
“My publisher said, in his ultimate wisdom, ‘Stan, that is the worst idea I have ever heard, first of all, people hate spiders… secondly he can’t be a teenager – teenagers can only be sidekicks and third, he can’t have personal problems if he’s supposed to be a superhero – don’t you know who a superhero is?'”
Funnily enough, all these characteristics made Spider-Man a fan-favorite character. Despite his publisher sidelining the idea, Lee did not give up.
How did Spider-Man come into existence?
In a 1996 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Stan Lee explained that he liked Spider-Man “because he’s become the most famous.” He further added,
“He’s the one who’s most like me – nothing ever turns out 100 percent OK; he’s got a lot of problems, and he does things wrong, and I can relate to that.”
But how did Spider-Man come into existence if the character was never approved? Well, Stan Lee didn’t give up after the idea was trashed. Lee then got a professional artist to draw the character and snuck Spider-Man into the last issue of the Amazing Fantasy series in 1962. Lee was then approached by his publisher as the character was loved by the fans and the rest is history.
Why is Spider-Man so popular?
Just like Stan Lee explained in his interview, the fans could relate to the character. Stan Lee made sure that fans also get to see the life of the person behind the mask, Peter Parker. The character was just a teenager trying to live a normal life while being the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Over the years, fans got different iterations of the same character, even Miles Morales now, and all of them have proved to be very beneficial for the studios. Unfortunately, the man responsible for all this is not here today to witness the success. Stan Lee passed away on 12 November 2018.